This morning was a “double scoop of vanilla ice cream in my bowl of coffee” type of morning.
It’s Memorial Day weekend, it’s gorgeous out, and all five of my daughters are sleeping in late. The pool, which I originally did not plan on opening, is indeed being opened this weekend despite our upcoming move – much to the girls’ delight.
And, to mix things up a bit out there, I decided to buy the girls an “icicle tent” to set up as a “clubhouse”.
The entire idea came around from a lump of clay. I like to use art as a major component in all our homeschool lessons, and after six years, we have enough art supplies to rival Michael’s craft store. However, one medium is favored above all others by all the girls - and that is clay. Polymer clay.
I have little baskets of translucent clay (the colored ones stay in the studio) scattered in all the rooms in my house, squares of it tucked in compartments in my purse and a few blocks in the glove compartment of my vehicle.
In my opinion, it is the ultimate learning toy/tool. The ever changing games and artwork stimulate creativity, help in teaching about communicating and teamwork and are fabulous stress and tension reducers.
Plus, they’re perfect to play with while waiting in restaurants or doctor’s offices, and it’s awesome because it doesn’t crumble and it doesn’t harden – unless you bake it in your oven.
“Whatcha makin’?” I heard my oldest daughter ask my youngest as she sat quietly in her favorite spot – the Corda Roy bean bag bed (or the “bbb”, as we call it).
eager obsessed with trying to act like her older sisters, my three year old held up the flesh colored clay proudly, ”It’s an icicle triangle.”
“Isosceles,” corrected my six-year old.
“It’s an icicle tent,” the littlest continued, ignoring her, and handing the clay to her oldest sister, “now make some windows and doors, please.”
“I think it does looks like a tent,” my thirteen year old said and poked out two little windows, “You know what, Mom? We should go camping.”
Before I was married, I camped out a lot – in Europe and around here in the Northeast. I relished the romance, the spontaneity of the experience. The simplicity.
After, I was married, all that stopped and the closest I saw to camping was a weekend at my in-laws incredibly gorgeous basement.
It’s a different time now, again, and I need to go back to what makes me happy and show my girls how much fun sleeping outdoors is.
There was NO WAY, I was going to spend a lot of money on a tent that will pretty much just be a toy for five little kids. So, I turned to my trusty Craigslist and searched for them there. I found several - YAY!!!!! Two that were just your basic one-room tents, three that were two-room, and two that were three-room.
I called to arranged times to check them out.
The one-room ones were too small.
The two-room kind were suitable, but I thought we could do better and we went on to the three-room tents.
The first of the three-room ones was nice. It was a nice large size. But, I still had this gut feeling I should see the last one before I made my decision.
“Mommy, look at the size of his tent!” my eight year old said in awe as we drove up to the last place on our list. There was a very nice gentleman setting up the blue and white tent for us so that we could see what it looked like and to make sure all the pieces were there.
This one was huge. Three large rooms and a screened-in porch. He thoroughly went over every part of it, and showed me how easy it was to set up and take down.
“I bought it to go camping with my kids on the weekends I have them,” he laughed, “but they didn’t care for it too much. We ended up using it only once. I’m a fireman and I ‘rough it’ enough on the job, anyway.”
And, because he was fun to watch (fireman!!!), I made him put it up and down – twice – for me (hehehe)…
So, the girls have themselves a new “icicle tent” (that I will need to stock with clay) and I will have peace inside my house.
I have some delicious kielbasa and angus steaks for the grill, salads of all kinds and lots of fun finger foods (we don’t do “healthy” at all during holidays – life is too short)…and with the expert advice from the Wineguys, I have it all paired with perfect wines. My Memorial Day guests coming later this afternoon have some really awesome treats waiting for them!!
(Oh, and by the way, guests will be helping me build a new brick chimnea to go along with the tent. Oops, did I forget to mention that when I invited them…?)
Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day Weekend from all of us to all of you!!! Let’s make sure to remember what this holiday is really about and raise your glass in honor and respect for all those who fought valiantly so that we can freely live in this great land of ours.